What the Thunder Said

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Rana Dasgupta’s book about Delhi is all rumble, no lightning says Catriona Luke For once I do not know where to begin. Perhaps that’s appropriate for a city that now has 23 million inhabitants. So maybe I will begin at the well where the writer draws his ideas. In 1990 Vidia Naipaul published A Million Mutinies Now. […]

Voice from Kupwara

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This small piece of writing is an innocuous one, not intended as an affront to anybody. Intention is however straightforward i.e. to reproduce the reality from a place which others have either neglected or misrepresented so for. The rationale is to rewrite and re-examine the devastation, destruction, wreckage and loss which conflict has inflicted on […]

Zinda Bhaag – the real world edition

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Life in Pakistan is not a bed of roses. The only two options available are to leave or to grow a thicker skin. Leaving the country is no easy feat either. The first step in the plan to leave the country involved obtaining a passport. It is a nightmare in itself. I recently had the […]

Unconditioner talks

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Aitchisonia-upon-Chenab, February 14, 2014: In a surprising new development that appears to have knocked the wind out of the sails of the team representing the Republic of Cliftonia, negotiations between the government and the warlords of Talibania have come to a sudden end. According to confirmed reports from unreliable sources, the parleys broke down late last […]

Critical things girls say about themselves that are actually compliments

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An amalgamation of tidbits from real life conversations I’ve had with friends and colleagues over the years. As someone who suffers from cripplingly low self-esteem, I enjoy taking mental notes of the humble brags people make, cloaked in an ill attempt at self-deprecation: I hate being someone who never gains weight. No fat people, you […]

Peacemongers unite!

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On February 4, 2014, a number of Shiv Sena activists barged into the Conference Hall at the Mumbai Press Club to disrupt a gathering of Indian and Pakistani musicians who had gathered to announce the launch of a joint India-Pakistan music band. The idea behind the initiative was to promote cross-border camaraderie between artistes and, […]

Basant in Lahore

Two characters who look like they belong to the royal court fly a kite together

Another year without the festival that defined Lahore Most people speak of kite flying in Lahore with little knowledge of its history. Some put it to being centuries old, others think of it as a relatively recent phenomenon. The truth is that the beginning of kite flying in Lahore is not recorded anywhere. You have […]

An unadulterated hero

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When I registered the news of a 14-year old, ninth grader, Aitizaz Hasan of Hangu – who is immeasurably less educated, less experienced, less cognizant of his social and moral responsibilities, with much less authority, mandate and lessor accountability than our Oxford-graduate, cricketer-turned-politician Maulana Imran Khan and the likes of him, I immediately questioned myself, […]

Studio vs. Basement

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Abdul Majeed Abid passes the verdict on Pakistani pop In the words of Indian Writer Nandini Krishnan, “To me, the tragedy of Coke Studio is what started out as a conversation between two genres of music has got so wrapped up in itself that it has sold out to its image…What I find disappointing, though, […]

A baby and a star

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The Christmas story has something for everyone and it is a festival that can be enjoyed by all, says Catriona Luke According to a story now two thousand years old it was the shepherds looking after their flocks by night who were the first to know that there was something going on. An angel appeared […]